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Always Kabhi Kabhi review: Average high-school drama!

Always Kabhi Kabhi review: Average high-school drama!

Source: Sify

By: Sonia Chopra

Critic's Rating: 17/5

Saturday 18 June 2011

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Movie Title

Always Kabhi Kabhi

Director

Roshan Abbas

Star Cast

Giselle Monteiro, Ali Fazal, Zoa Morani, Satyajeet Dubbey

It?s teen station again, and what do we have this time? Relationship sagas, mom-dad woes, girls in very short skirts, boys trying to be macho. Ok, let?s be fair. The film is not all fluff.

There are portions where the film makes us care for its characters and their relationships. But they?re squashed between lots of baloney.

We meet our characters who are Grade 12 students at St. Marks. Sameer AKA Shortcut Sam (Ali Fazal), as you must?ve guessed, is always in a hurry. His best friend is nerdy (a teen film must-have) Tariq (Satyajeet Dubey). He?s in hate with school bully Nandini (Zoa Morani) and is constantly losing bets to her.

New girl Aishwarya (Giselle Monteiro) enters the school and is immediately made the upcoming play?s Juliet. Equations shuffle: Sam is now eager to play Romeo, Nandini is jealous as she was angling for the part, Tariq is confused.

The four are also struggling with their `Devil wears Prada? folks. The overambitious parents burden their children with unfair expectations, and the kids are breaking under the pressure. And just as you?re warming up to their cause, hoping the film will continue its (somewhat) realistic tone, you have a filmi confrontation scene bang in the middle of a Shakespeare play rendition. What was that?

Also unnecessary are jokes like the peeing/potty trick the brats play on a visiting theatre professor. Writer-director Roshan Abbas adapts the story from his 1999 play Graffiti. He manages to humanize the kids. The drug raid scene is expertly handled and shows the ruthless cops arrest innocent kids, asking for a ransom to let them go. The online status updates are a recurring motif.

The relationships between these 18-year-olds is portrayed with intelligence and sensitivity. The young lovers, often in their first relationship, form a bond where they find acceptance and solace in each other, helping them deal with the issues at home. Unlike recent films that show a severely one-sided view of relationships, this one shows girls and boys form a bond full of mutual respect, friendship and love.

And there?the viewer is rudely awakened by unsavory antics. A soft-drink product placement puts you off and the finale just crumbles. The producer appears for a song at the end, and is out-of-place rapping with the kids.

The secondary pair stands out. Zoa Morani is a natural, handling her complex role with the confidence of a veteran. Satyajeet Dubey exudes spontaneity. Ali Fazal (looking older than 18) and Giselle Monteiro pass muster. Fazal is confident and Monteiro has screen presence, but will benefit from better dialogue delivery.

Always Kabhi Kabhi, despite the fleeting pleasant moments, remains an average high school drama.

Verdict: Two and a half stars

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